Keyword Roots, Tenses within Search vs. SEM

November 18th, 2008 by Livingston | Print Keyword Roots, Tenses within Search vs. SEM

Search stemming (also known as wild card (*) search) searches the root of a word and returns all letter combinations (tenses) of the word in the search results.  For example, searching for the words (analyzing, analyzed or analysis), simply search the wild card “analy* ” or in some engines including Google “analy”, when no wild card is needed and stemming is standard.  This will narrow your search without losing results, pretty standard.

However, when marketing to those searching (i.e. resumes, job postings or advertisement), it’s best not to use the root of a word in its simplist or present tense form. To target those searching for (developer, development, develop, developed, developing, develops), you wouldn’t want to only use the word “develop” because you’re content will be excluded in results that stem from searching one of the longer words.  It’s best to use all tenses within your content, or at a minimum, use one of the other longer tenses that include the root (developer, development, developed, developing, or develops), this way you’re post will show up for those also searching “develop” along with the keyword of your choosing, essentially getting 2 for 1.

This doesn’t work for every word and their corresponding tenses; but something to keep an eye on when typing job advertisements, your own resume or when paying for sponsored keywords or pay per click (PPC) AdWords.

Also,  the wild card (*) operator now has an even more powerful feature within the Google search engine, the asterisk is now used to replace a whole word (or words) within a given phrase.  “i’m heading to” * tonight will fill in a word or phrase for you, what’s a practical sourcing application for this trick?

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